Sunday Aug. 28, 2022
12:30pm - 1:15pm

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“Clouds over Taiwan”

With Alice Grünfelder/ Switzerland/ Germany

Moderation: Martin Zähringer/ Berlin

Languages: German, English

Taiwan, a small island and simultaneously a chip superpower off the coast of southern China, has undergone enormous social transformation in recent decades. Thanks to civil rights movements, the transition from a decades-long military dictatorship to one of Asia's most open and vibrant democracies took place quite peacefully. Today, Western perceptions of Taiwan are determined by the threat posed by China, by a geopolitical top-down view. But what counterviews arise when one visits the country for six months with intent to describe it?

Alice Grünfelder has published books from and about Tibet, a novel based in Uyghur Xinjiang, and was the editor of the Turkish Bibliotheque at the Union Publishing House.

Her widely discussed book “Clouds over Taiwan”, which was recently published, brings together notes and reflections, reportages, and essayistic miniatures. Whether they are about clouds and water, garbage collection and demonstrations, temples and gods, bridges, rivers, or seas. In the context of climate cultures, we are particularly interested in views from the inside of this precarious climate zone.

On the Podium

Alice Grünfelder is a German-Swiss writer and, as a sinologist, has always been interested in the margins of Chinese culture and the corresponding inconvenient counter-images. She has published several books on Tibet, Xinjiang, and most recently on Taiwan. For the festival, she will curate the Taiwan panel.

• 2022 Wolken über Taiwan (Clouds over Taiwan)
• 2018 Die Wüstengängerin (The Desert Walker)